Missouri’s state appeals court has upheld a bizarre suit by a woman who claimed she was infected by a sexually transmitted disease from her ex-boyfriend.
An arbitrator ruled that Geico insurance was responsible for the woman’s condition because the male policyholder hadn’t disclosed that he had contracted human papillomavirus and that he did not protect her.
Geico was sued in court by a woman named “M.O.” in a lawsuit. An appeal court upheld the judgment.
According to court documents, the woman, identified as M.O., and a man, who were in a relationship, had sex in the man’s car. She contends she contracted HPV, human papillomavirus because the man did not tell her he had the disease. HPV can cause cervical cancer, certain other cancers, and genital warts.
In February 2021, M.O. notified Geico she planned to seek a $1 million insurance settlement against the man. She argued the man’s auto insurance provided coverage for her injuries and losses.
The insurance company refused the settlement offer, saying the woman’s claim did not occur because of the normal use of the vehicle, according to court documents.
The likelihood of the woman winning the case was slim, but the Appeals Court was only basing its ruling on the arbiter’s ability to grant an award.
Geico is now seeking justice in federal court.
The insurer requested that the award be thrown out because it violated its rights, but their appeal was rejected.
On Tuesday, the three-judge panel found that the lower court did not err by denying Geico’s motions, saying the company did not have a right to “relitigate those issues.”
One of the judges concurred but said the company was offered “no meaningful opportunity to participate” in the lawsuit and existing law “relegate(s) the insurer to the status of a bystander.”
Geico was not allowed to participate in the lawsuit.
Geico claimed that it was not responsible for defending the boyfriend (identified only by “M.B.”) in federal court papers. Geico should not be held liable for damages “outside the ownership maintenance or use of the automobile.”
“M.O.’s alleged damages have no nexus to the ownership, maintenance, or covered use of the 2014 Hyundai Genesis,” the company said in a federal court filing last year.
“In other words, the vehicle’s covered use did not cause M.O.’s alleged injuries; instead, her injuries arose from an intervening cause — namely, her failure to prevent transmission of STDs by having unprotected sex.”
Whose responsibility is it to protect against sexually transmitted diseases? Conservatives may argue that it’s the individuals. Leftists argue it’s the companies. They have the money and the ability to pay for it.
We can only hope that a federal court will quickly throw out this nonsense.